The family of celebrated Attymass priest Fr Patrick Peyton have said no contact has been made with them about the exhumation of his body.
Speaking to the Mayo Advertiser, Fr Peyton’s nephew, Fr Padraig Peyton, said: “I have been contacted by a priest in New York informing me that Rome are looking into the beatification of my uncle. If that goes ahead then, and only then, will they be seeking to exhume the body and our permission will be sought at that time.”
As Fr Peyton moves closer to being declared a saint, his body is to be exhumed prior to an examination by medical professionals, to officially identify the remains, report on their condition, and collect relics.
Reports earlier this week in the national media appeared to confirm that the late Fr Peyton, who was known as The Rosary Priest, would be exhumed as soon as possible and that permission had been granted.
However, Fr Padraig said: “Apparently once the whole process of beatification begins it will go like wildfire, but at the moment nothing of the sort is happening. There are only talks. One of us, either my brother Tom or myself, will have to travel to Boston and be present for the exhumation. The story that has been reported so far is not necessarily untrue, and please God it will turn out to be true, but nothing that has been reported has happened yet. It could be months or even years ahead.”
He continued: “Rome are looking at two miracles at present and if they are proven then this thing could take off entirely. It’s complete presumption to think that the Pope will be in a position to announce my uncle as a saint when he travels here this summer.”
Fr Peyton also believes that the idea of his uncle receiving a sainthood has been used as a political football in the locality, telling the Mayo Advertiser: “There is competition in the Bonniconlon and Attymass area between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael and they are all trying to take credit. All saying 'I was the one who raised the flag first'.”